Garifuna Music Influence in Belize

The Garifuna culture in Belize displays many influences of its African heritage, and this is extremely evident when comparing their music with the indigenous music of the African societies from which their ancestors originated. According to one source, most of the slaves brought to the Caribbean were taken from the Niger and cross Delta regions in the Blight of Benin (present-day Nigeria) in West Africa, and from further south in the Congo and Angola (A History of Belize 5th chapter 1). Much like the music of these areas, the Garifuna style of music relies heavily on call and response patterns. These patterns are less overlapping than many traditional ones found in Africa, but none the less in Belize music the Garifunas leader-chorus organization is very consistent with those of African styles.

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